"Invisible Man" Analytical Essay by VioletFae

"Invisible Man"
A discussion of the universal impact and significance of "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison.
# 16524 | 1,102 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 24, 2003 in African-American Studies (1950-Present) , Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper reviews the story of "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison and discusses the theory that Ralph Ellison's tale, though it is focused on an African-American man's search for political and personal freedom in America, ultimately conjures themes of universal invisibility and alienation. He sent his naive hero falling through almost every level of this divided society; the unnamed protagonist travels from a college in the Deep South to the streets of Harlem. It discusses how "Invisible Man" is an African-American novel because a white man could not successfully have written it because it is soaked in African-American life and experience. It depicts to the reader how detached even the best of the whites are from the black men that pass them on the streets, and it is created from a special compound of emotions that no white man could possibly fabricate. It shows how its "Invisible Man" continues to speak to readers after more than fifty years. At its most basic level, Ellison's message is clearly not only for one particular racial group. The problems of disloyalty, illusion, and difficulty forming one's own values are experienced by everyone.

From the Paper:

"In order to create the depth that speaks for all of humanity, Ellison employs various tactics and techniques. He uses the wholeness and endless complexity of the American language, including musical and religious elements from culture. With musical language, he writes in the Prologue of descending, like Dante, into the depths of music "and beneath the swiftness of the hot tempo there was a slower tempo and a cave and I entered it and looked around and heard an old woman singing a spiritual as full of Weltschmerz as flamenco " and below that I found a lower level and a more rapid tempo and I heard someone shout (Ellison 8-9)."

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